Soundbite: George Stephanopoulos On The Notorious West Wing Conference Call


carvillesteph2The conference call is a myth! It’s a total myth. It’s a myth! It’s not true. I talk to Carville, I talk to Rahm, I talk to Paul, but we never have been on a conference call once in our lives. Ever. It would be malpractice of me as the chief Washington correspondent of ABC News not to try to talk to the White House chief of staff as much as possible. I’m also friends with him.

George Stephanopoulos on the Politico story which reported that he, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, and former Clinton advisers Paul Begala and James Carville share a daily, morning conference call.

And from the original story, which if read closely doesn’t actually say the four are on the phone at the same time:

So begins another morning in what may count as Washington’s longest-running conversation — a street-corner bull session between four old friends who suddenly find themselves standing once more at the busiest intersection of politics and media in Washington.

Carville calls White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel calls ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos.

A bit later, CNN commentator Paul Begala, who is not quite the early bird that his friends are, will complete the circle with a rapid set of calls to all three.

Different versions of this round-robin chatter have been taking place, with few interruptions, every workday for nearly a generation.

“I refer to it as the 17-year-long conference call,” said Emanuel, who starts calling his friends at 6 a.m. “You can tap into it anytime you want.”

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